Linux Today: Linux News On Internet Time.

LinuxWorld: Bob Young on Red Hat's origins - Meeting Mark Ewing and the genesis of RPM

Nov 15, 2000, 23:22 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Barr)

"Young began by going back to Red Hat's misty origins:

Red Hat got started, well, legally, we got started in March of '93, when I quit my day job and went to work in my wife's sewing closet trying to make a living. And I was doing a bunch of things at that time, but one of them was selling free software. I was publishing a newsletter called New York Unix."

"His mention of the newsletter reminded me of his involvement with Linux Journal as it got started. I interrupted his tale of Red Hat's beginnings to ask about that, and he provided a detailed account of how he and Phil Hughes got together, started Linux Journal, and then split up again, with Young happily leaving the publishing business to Hughes. Young credited Hughes and Linux Journal with giving "the whole Linux and open source movement real credibility in the early days." He then returned to my original question."

"In the meantime of course, coming back to the answer to your question, this was now, golly, March of '94, and I'm going, "OK, what assets do I own?" And I basically owned a couple of mailing lists for New York Unix and Linux Journal. And so I started using those mailing lists to promote the ACC PC Unix and Linux Catalog."

"I was selling Linux at that time, Yggdrasil and InfoMagic (and Slackware Pro came out shortly after that) for anywhere from between twenty and fifty bucks, and you made fifty percent margins on it -- whereas selling subscriptions you sold for twenty-four bucks you made ten percent margins on it. So I really liked the idea of getting out of the publishing business and into the catalog business."

Complete Story

Related Stories: